Someone recently ask what my current camera line up was so here goes:
Canon G7X – A nice, small carry anywhere pocket camera that’s a reasonable all round performer. It produces nice images from the 20Mpixel 1” sensor and seems very good at handling noise for a camera of this size. The RAW files are quite flexible and the image quality is good in the centre of the lens. I like the 24mm wide angle but find the corners are soft when you move in close to objects. The lens sharpness is OK but not exceptional. The worst thing about the camera is the lack of filter attachment. I have bought a Lensmate adapter but believe these have now been discontinued.
Olympus EM5 – I have two of these, one having been converted to Infrared. They are excellent cameras, especially with some of the lenses that are now available. If you have one of these cameras and find the results are not as good as you had hoped for, try changing your lenses. Image quality is excellent although I sometimes wish there were a few more pixels on the sensor. The image stabilization is nothing short of amazing, allowing you to hand hold at silly speeds. Noise is well handled and the colours are excellent. I find this camera is the perfect travel outfit and excels at Landscape work due to the depth of field that can be achieve from the Micro 43 sensor.
Sony A7r + Canon L Series lenses – I love this camera for Landscape work. The 36Mpixel sensor captures superb quality images, even when you push the ISO up. The images are large and exceptionally sharp. It is though more difficult to achieve a great shot than with the EM5. The EM5 copes with poor weather conditions very well but Sony tends to get blown around quite easily. Also being a larger camera it can be more difficult to keep dry in the wet. But, if I want outstanding image quality and colours, this is the outfit I turn to. The downside is that its full frame and sometimes it can be difficult to achieve the desired depth of field.
Sony RX10 – The lens on this camera is very nice as is the sensor. For a 20MPixel 1” sensor it performs exceptionally well, capturing the finest details. The 24-200 f/2.8 lens is great to use and very flexible. So as to avoid changing lenses, I tend to take this camera on day hikes with me. A single batter tends to last me all day. Where it struggles a little is that I don’t feel that it handles high contrast conditions well and the dynamic range isn’t as good as I would like. Noise is well handled despite the small sensor but the image stabilization is only just OK. Image quality is very good, especially in the central area of the lens but can soften in the corners and edges. With more distant fine detail, you can spot where the lens stops resolving the detail, possibly because it’s so sharp in other areas. Despite the short comings, it’s a very enjoyable camera to use but when travelling I opt for the EM5 rather than the RX10.
Hasselblad XPan + 30mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses – Yes it’s a film camera but it’s fantastic. The image quality and feel come down to your film choice as well as your abilities with a scanner. The camera is very solidly built and allows me to switch between regular 35mm and panoramic format images with a switch. The lenses are amazingly sharp and with the right film and scanning can produce exceptional quality. It’s a great camera to use and you can’t beat it for panoramic images where there is some movement in the frame e.g. waves on a beach.
Bronica SQ-Ai – Yes, this is a Medium Format film camera from a few years back. It’s also my most recent purchase. I have yet to try it out on a shoot but I will feedback when I do.
Olympus XA – 35mm film pocket camera. Small and fun to play with but the image quality is only OK.
Holga 120 – Medium Format film camera with dreadful build and image quality but the images produces and wonderfully artistic. What do you expect for £30.
That completes the line-up which I am really quite happy with.